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SMOKING

DISEASES CAUSED BY CACNER

* There are several harmful health effects of cigarette smoking. A person addicted to smoking may suffer from a number of serious and fatal diseases caused by smoking. Smokers are more likely to face respiratory infections and several minor complaints such as coughs and colds. Smokers may suffer from some dreadful diseases such as cancer, heart disease, cardiovascular diseases, lung disease, respiratory problems and several other problems related to kidneys, liver and pancreas. Cancer: Smokers are at a higher risk of getting cancer. Carcinogen present in tobacco smoke causes cancer of lungs, mouth, throat and gullet. About 90% of lung cancer cases are because of smoking. Smokers can also develop other types of cancers such as bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer, cancer of kidneys and esophagus cancer. Female smokers are at a greater risk of cervical cancer. Cardiovascular Diseases: Cardiovascular diseases are the diseases of heart, blood vessels of the heart and blood vessels including arteries and veins. It is a major cause of death due to smoking. Nicotine present in tobacco increases the cholesterol levels in the blood. Cholesterol and other fats get deposited in the arteries, which causes hardening of arteries. The arteries become narrow, rigid or blocked. Due to atherosclerosis (narrowing of arteries), blood clots are formed, which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Common cardiovascular diseases found in smokers are coronary thrombosis, cerebral thrombosis, coronary heart diseases, blockage in the legs (peripheral vascular disease) and cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): It is a group of health conditions, which blocks airflow and causes difficulty in breathing. It causes health problems such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema is breathlessness that is caused by damage to alveoli (air sacs). Chronic bronchitis causes frequent coughing with a lot of mucus. Smoking is responsible for about 80% of COPD cases. Smoking increases the rate of decline in lung function three times the usual rate. Breathlessness starts due to decrease in lung function. Other Conditions caused by Smoking * The chemicals present in tobacco damage the lining of blood vessels and affect the levels of fats in the bloodstream. It increases the risk of atheroma, which is the main cause of heart disease, stroke and aneurysms. * Smoking affects your oral health. It can stain your teeth and gums. Smoking can give rise to various health problems of gums and teeth, such as swollen gums, loose teeth and bad breath. * Smoking causes acid taste in the mouth. It can increase the risk of developing mouth ulcers. * Smoking can give rise to various sexual problems. Couples addicted to smoking are likely to face fertility problems. * Smoking increases the risk of high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for stroke and heart attacks. * Smoking worsens asthma by increasing the inflammation of airways. * Smoking can cause early aging. Due to smoking, the blood supply to the skin is reduced. There is decrease in the levels of vitamin A. Hence, smokers have paler skin and more wrinkles. * Heavy smoking causes macular degeneration, which results in gradual loss of eyesight. Smokers are at a higher risk for cataract. * Some other conditions caused by smoking are chest infections, diabetic retinopathy, tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis and Crohn's disease.

WHY IS SMOKING DANGEROUS

According to smoking facts, tobacco in a cigarette consists of more than 400 toxic substances and 4,000 chemical compounds. Out of them, the most hazardous substances are tar, which is a carcinogen substance, nicotine that increases cholesterol levels in the body and carbon monoxide, which decreases the amount of oxygen within the body. Nicotine is the most addictive substance in tobacco. Smoking decreases the levels of oxygen reaching tissues, giving rise to different health problems such as stroke, heart attack or miscarriage. It increases cholesterol levels in the blood, increasing the risk of heart attack. Smoking causes damage and constriction of blood vessels, leading to various diseases of blood vessels. Smoking also causes chronic coughing, shortness of breath, premature aging, recurrent infections and reduced overall fitness. Smoking-related deaths are mainly because of heart diseases, cancers and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

HEALTH EFFECTS

Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and diminishes a person's overall health. Smoking is a leading cause of cancer and of death from cancer. It causes cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx (voice box), mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach, and cervix, as well as acute myeloid leukemia. Smoking also causes heart disease, stroke, lung disease (chronic bronchitis and emphysema), hip fractures, and cataracts. Smokers are at higher risk of developing pneumonia and other airway infections. A pregnant smoker is at higher risk of having her baby born too early and with an abnormally low weight. A woman who smokes during or after pregnancy increases her infant's risk of death from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Millions of Americans have health problems caused by smoking. Cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke cause an estimated average of 438,000 premature deaths each year in the United States. Of these premature deaths, about 40 percent are from cancer, 35 percent are from heart disease and stroke, and 25 percent are from lung disease. Smoking is the leading cause of premature, preventable death in this country. Regardless of their age, smokers can substantially reduce their risk of disease, including cancer, by quitting.

EFFECTS OF SMOKING DURING PREGNANCY

Smoking causes very serious effects during pregnancy, both on pregnant woman and baby. A pregnant woman who frequently smokes is at a higher risk for miscarriage, certain pregnancy complications such as bleeding, detachment of placenta, ectopic pregnancy and premature birth. There is a possibility of low birth weight baby or stillbirth. There may be some congenital defects in the baby such as cleft palate. There are some passive effects of smoking on people who come in contact with smoke. If babies and kids come in contact with smokers, they become more prone to asthma and infections of ear, nose and chest. They are at increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Smoking badly affects the health of a smoker and of those who come in contact with cigarette smoke. The only way to prevent these health hazards is to quit smoking. It's never too late to stop smoking, which could protect you and your family from many fatal diseases. After all, health is wealth, isn't it?

BENEFITS OF SMOKING

Quitting smoking reduces the risk of cancer and other diseases, such as heart disease and lung disease, caused by smoking. People who quit smoking, regardless of their age, are less likely than those who continue to smoke to die from smoking-related illness. Studies have shown that quitting at about age 30 reduces the chance of dying from smoking-related diseases by more than 90 percent . People who quit at about age 50 reduce their risk of dying prematurely by 50 percent compared with those who continue to smoke. Even people who quit at about age 60 or older live longer than those who continue to smoke .